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North Central Flori 



ional Planning Council 



COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP 
1974 



OFFICERS 

Clayton C. Curtis, Chairman 

Robert J. Spence, Vice-Chairman 

Ralph W. Kluge, Secretary-Treasurer 




Jack Durrance 

Robert H. Cato 

Clayton C. Curtis 
Samuel N. Holloway 

Carnell C. Henderson 

E. G. Cann 



ALACHUA COUNTY 

CITY OF ALACHUA 

CITY OF GAINESVILLE 

CITY OF HAWTHORNE 
CITY OF HIGH SPRINGS 



Ralph Kluge 

Glenn DuBois 

James G. Richardson 

Robert J. Spence 
E. H. Petteway 



John M. Champion 
Wayland Clifton, Jr. 



EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS 

North Central Florida 
Health Planning Council 
Governor's Council on 
Criminal Justice - Region II 
Alachua County C. O. Morgan 

City of Gainesville Norman J. Bowman 

G. Alan Hardin 
Citizen Participation 
Committee 



W. T. Coram 



COUNCIL STAFF 
1974 



Charles F. Justice 
Philip J. Hughey 
Alan L. Csontos 
Roy E. Brewer 
Charles L. Kiester 
Jan E. McGee 
Tommie M. George 
Marilyn Crumley 
Ruby Marshall 
Terry Trussell 
Trevor D. Splane 
Mark Druash 



Executive Director 

Assistant Director 

Environmental Planner 

Regional Planner 

Regional Planner 

Health Planning Coordinator 

Executive Secretary 

Secretary II 

Bookkeeper 

Graphics Coordinator 

Planning Technician 

Planning Technician 



/J? -o > - c o / - OOOO — o/ ^^ 



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HOUSING, 1974 




The preparation of this report was financed in 
part through a comprehensive planning grant from 
the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 



July, 1974 



North Central Florida Regional Planning Council 
Five Southwest Second Place 
Gainesville, Florida 32601 



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BIBLIOCRAPHIC DATA 1 Repon No. 

SHEET NCFRPC-74-004 



4. Title and Subtitle 

Housing, 1974 



3. Recipient's Accession No. 



5. Report Date 

July, 1974 



7. Author(s) 



See #9 Below 



8. P.erforming Organization Rept. 

^°-NCFRPC-74-004 



9. Performing Organization Name and Address 

North Central Florida Regional Planning Council 
5 Southwest Second Place 
Gainesville/ Florida 32601 



10. Project/Task/Work Unit No. 



11. Contract/Grant No. 

CPA-FL-04-29-1036 



12. Sponsoring Organization Name and Address 

Department of Housing and Urban Development 
661 Riverside Drive 
Jacksonville, Florida 32204 



13. Type of Report & Period 
Covered 

FINAL 



14. 



15. Supplementary Notes 



16. Abstracts r[.j^ig report is preparatory to the development of a housing plan 
for Alachua County and municipalities. The study focuses on two sepa- 
rate, though highly related subject areas affecting the quantity and 
quality of housing within the county. The first is concerned with 
identifying those existing and proposed programs, federal, state and 
local, which provide viable alternatives to the jurisdictions of 
Alachua County for the purpose of increasing the quantity & improving 
the quality of housing for their citizens. The second is concerned 
with identifying any obstacles to the development of housing that are 
created by inconsistencies and/or inadequacies in the adoption and 
enforcement of housing-related codes within the county. The report 
recommends that a housing committee, having representatives from each 
of the political jurisdictions, be established for the purpose of 
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evelopinrr an area-wide housing plan. 

17. Key Words anduocument Analysis. 17a. Descriptors 






\ 



17b. Identifiers/Open-Ended Terms 

HOUSING (federal, state, local aid programs; housing-related codes 
and code enforcement) . 



17c. COSATI Field/Group 



18. Availability Statement Available to the public from 
the North Central Florida Regional Planning 

Council, 5 S.W. 2nd Place, Gainesville, 
Fl o ri da 

FORM fTTls-35 If 



^ 326Q1 

IREV. 3-72) 



19. Security Class (This 
Report) 

UNCLASSIFIED 



20. Security Class (This 
Page 

UNCLASSIFIED 



21. No. of Pages 

80 



22. Price 



USCOMM-DC 14952-P72 



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TABLE OF CONTENTS 



ABSTRACT ii 

TABLE OF CONTENTS iii 

PART/CHAPTER 

I/ONE - INTRODUCTION 1 

Regional Housing Program 

Purpose and objectives of the Study 

Organization of the Study 

I/TWO - CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 9 

Major Findings 

Housing Assistance Programs 

Codes and Code Enforcement 
Recommendations 

II/THREE - HOUSING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS 17 

Federal Programs 

Existing 

Proposed 
State Programs 

Existing 

Proposed 
Local Programs 

Existing 

Proposed 
Summary of Housing Assistance Programs 
Conclusions and Recommendations 

I I I/FOUR - HOUSING AND HOUSING RELATED CODES 37 

Codes and Code Enforcement; Alachua 
County and Municipalities 

Development Standards 

Construction Standards 

Maintenance Standards 
Codes and Code Enforcement: Conclusions 
and Recommendations 

APPENDIX 73 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 75 



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PART I 
CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION 



Twenty-five years have passed since the United States established 
at the national level the policy goal of "a decent home and 
suitable living environment for every American family". Where- 
as the Federal Government had first entered the housing picture 
nearly 20 years earlier, the 1949 Housing Act establishing 
this policy set the tone for increasing direct federal involve- 
ment in the area of housing and urban development. 

Although hampered somewhat by legislative requirements and 
the proliferation of programs, policies and differing proce- 
dures, in a report to the President in 1968, a presidential 
committee on urban housing stated that progress toward the 
housing goal had been achieved through the implementation 
of federally-sponsored housing programs which evolved from 
this and other later-adopted housing acts. The programs 
which evolved from these housing acts saw increasing attempts 
to reach the core of the problem through a multi-faceted 
approach of rehabilitating people as well as the physical 
structures and neighborhood environments in which they live. 
The commission concluded that the solution to the housing 
problem is not just one of supplying adequate numbers of 
low- and medium-cost housing to those families that can 
afford them, but the bridging of the income gap for those 
families unable to afford even the lowest-cost housing that 
can be built. ( A Decent Home , 1968, pp. 47-73.) 

A major change in the role of the Federal Government con- 
cerning housing and urban development is presently in progress. 



The federally-sponsored categorical grant programs which 
gave us such terms as "public housing" and "urban renewal" 
are now being phased out in favor of a more decentralized 
approach--one which will return the initiative to state 
and local governments for solving their own housing and com- 
munity development problems. While more will be said about 
this later, this approach proposes "block" grants of federal 
monies to state and local governments for their "discretionary" 
use. Regardless the program, its title or its approach, the 
basic housing problems as described in the comm.ission ' s report 
still remain to be solved. 



REGIONAL HOUSING PROGRAM 

The North Central Florida Regional Planning Council was created 
by Acts of Resolution of the Alachua County Commission and the 
Gainesville City Commission in December of 1968. This action 
was prompted by the growing realization that problems associ- 
ated with urbanization of an area have no respect for politi- 
cal boundaries. 

As pointed out in the Council's Initial Housing Element 
(N.C .F .R.P .C . , 1971), housing and housing-related problems 
do not begin and end at local jurisdictional boundaries; 
therefore, special insight to the problems may be gained 
by studying them at the regional level. The Initial Housing 
Element began the Council's investigation into the housing 
situation within all units of political jurisdiction in 
Alachua County. After establishing a preliminary listing 
of existing housing conditions and a ranking of problems 
which have precipitated unsound housing in the area, the 



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study issued a statement of objectives to improve housing 
quality and established a five year annual work program, 
in order to meet these objectives. 

The Initial Housing Element also recognized the past and 
on-going efforts of the communities in solving their indi- 
vidual housing problems. The results of their earlier 
efforts were shown to have had a substantial impact on the 
overall level of housing throughout the county by later, 
more detailed studies prepared by the Council. Neverthe- 
less, while progress has continued to be made on the housing 
front, not every family in Alachua County can yet be con- 
sidered as residing in a decent home. 

As prescribed by the adopted work program, the second year 
study completed by the Council analyzed in detail existing 
housing conditions by geographic breakdown throughout the 
county. (N.C.F.R.P.C. , Housing Conditions , 1972). As a 
result of its investigation, the Council found some disparity 
in the relative percentages of substandard housing based 
upon location; that is, the smaller communities grouped as 
a whole had the highest percentage of total housing considered 
either deteriorated or dilapidated (54.7 percent), while the 
unincorporated area had the lowest (16.6 percent). A third 
geographic unit for which data was summarized is the Gaines- 
ville Urban Area. This area was found to contain 37.2 per- 
cent of total residential structures considered deteriorating 
or dilapidated. However, the rating method utilized for this 
area differed from that used for the other two areas, and 
mobile homes were not included in the results; therefore, 
a strict percentage comparison is not appropriate. Never- 
theless, the study not only provided data establishing the 
general magnitude of the housing problem in Alachua County, 



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but also the areas where, on a relative basis, the problems 
seem to be centered. 

Armed with data depicting total numbers and conditions of 
the existing housing supply in Alachua County, a third housing 
element undertaken by the Council and published in 197 3 
focused on housing needs, existing and projected, for each 
of the jurisdictions of local government in Alachua County. 
(N.C .F .R.P .C . , Housing, 1973 ) . Utilizing data and conclu- 
sions from previous housing and planning studies completed 
by the Council and the Department of Community Development, 
City of Gainesville, this study also projected costs of con- 
struction for new housing and analyzed the capabilities of 
consumers to purchase housing through 1985. This elem.ent 
concluded with a general discussion concerning site loca- 
tion criteria and the physical, economic, and political 
constraints affecting types, densities, and locations of 
housing developments. 

This brings us to the present element--one which can be 
considered as completing the initial research portion of 
the regional housing program. Except for the updating of 
information contained in the studies completed to-date, 
beginning next year the regional housing programi in Alachua 
County will focus on the establishment and implem.entation 
of a housing plan. 



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PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY 

With the nature and magnitude of the housing problem estab- 
lished by the studies discussed above, the purpose of this 
element is to lay the groundwork for next year's prepara- 
tion and adoption of a housing plan for Alachua County and 
communities. To accomplish this purpose, this study focuses 
on two separate, though highly related subject areas affect- 
ing the adequate supply and condition of housing units in 
the area. The two areas of consideration can best be phrased 
in terms of their objectives. 

The first objective of this report is to identify and examine 
existing and proposed programs, federal, state and local, 
available to the jurisdictions of Alachua County for the 
purpose of increasing the quantity and improving the quality 
of housing for their citizens. An analysis of this nature 
is especially important at this time due to the recent cut- 
backs in federal involvement in housing programs. Although 
new replacement programs are presently being prepared by 
both the Administration and the Congress, the form and nature 
of federal involvement will differ substantially from what 
has been done in the past. Also, the State of Florida has 
recently enacted several housing assistance programs, and 
a number of local governments are initiating housing pro- 
grams on their own. Each of these programs are examined, 
existing and proposed, and recommendations concerning their 
possible role in the development of a housing plan are made. 

The second objective of this report is to identify any 
obstacles to the development of housing that are created by 
inconsistencies and/or inadequacies concerning the enforce- 
ment of housing and housing-related codes within the 



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jurisdictions of Alachua County. Obstacles develop when 
developers are faced with differing standards and requirerrents 
as they move from one political jurisdiction to another for 
the purpose of constructing housing units. Unnecessary 
differences in standards can inhibit easy movement and, there- 
fore, increase per unit costs to the consumer. Such incon- 
sistencies usually develop more through oversight than intent 
on the part of the communities. This report examines the 
existing situation in Alachua County and m.unicipalities , 
and makes recommendations concerning the establishment of 
uniform standards throughout the county. 



ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY 

Following this introductory chapter. Chapter Two provides 
a summ.ary of the major conclusions and recommendations of 
the study. These two chapters complete Part I of the report. 

Parts II and III, containing Chapters Three and Four respec- 
tively, are concerned with the two major objectives of the 
study. Part II, Chapter Three examines those housing assistance 
programs which are available to the jurisdictions of Alachua 
County for meeting their housing needs. As indicated above, 
the purpose of this section is to provide a discussion of 
alternative housing programs for possible inclusion into 
next year's development of a housing plan. 

Part III, Chapter Four is concerned with housing and housing- 
related codes. Essentially this section studies the need 
for and feasibility of establishing a uniform system of codes 
and code enforcem.ent throughout Alachua County. The purpose 



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is not to examine the existing codes for their relative merits; 
rather, it is to identify for remedial action, any obstacles 
to the development of reasonably-priced housing created by 
inconsistencies among codes. 



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CHAPTER TWO 
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 



As discussed in the introduction, the purpose of this report 
is to prepare for next year's development of a housing plan 
for Alachua County and municipalities. To achieve this pur- 
pose, this study has focussed on two separate, though highly 
related subject areas affecting the quantity and quality of 
housing within the county. The first subject area is con- 
cerned with identifying those existing and proposed programs, 
federal, state and local, which provide viable alternatives 
to the jurisdictions of Alachua County for the purpose of 
increasing the quantity and improving the quality of housing 
for their citizens. The second subject area is concerned 
with identifying any obstacles to the development of housing 
that are created by inconsistencies and/or inadequacies in 
the adoption and enforcement of housing-related codes within 
the jurisdictions of Alachua County. This chapter summarizes 
those major findings and recommendations which have resulted 
from an examination of each of these subject areas. 



MAJOR FINDINGS 

Housing Assistance Programs 

An analysis of both existing and proposed housing assistance 
programs, federal, state and local, has determined the following 



1. that a number of federally-insured home loan programs 
for medium-income families have not been affected by 
recent cut-backs of federal housing programs; however. 



rising costs of housing and spiraling interest 
rates have priced most of these programs out of 
the housing and m.oney markets. 

2. that five federal housing assistance programs 
remain as viable alternatives to local govern- 
ments for the purpose of increasing the supply 
and/or of improving the quality of housing for 
low and moderate-income families. Hovever, four 
of these programs are limited geographically 

to unincorporated areas and/or incorporated areas 
having less than 10,000 population. 

3. that two state housing assistance programs have 
recently been enacted for the purpose of increas- 
ing the supply of housing for low and moderate- 
income fam.ilies. However, one of these programs 
is not expected to be very effective at providing 
housing for low-income groups. 

4. that two local housing assistance programs designed 
to help meet the needs of low and mioderate-income 
families have been initiated--one as a pilot 
program currently being tested, the other held 

up due to legal questions. 

5. that an effective program, providing for the con- 
struction of low and moderate-income families can 
probably best be achieved by utilizing a combina- 
tion of federal, state and/or local housing 
assistance programs in conjunction with each 
other. 

6. that an effective program geared to the upgrading 
of existing housing can probably best be achieved 
by establishing a systematic housing code compli- 
ance program in conjunction with two federally- 
subsidized housing repair loan programs. 

7. that the large number of proposed programs, federal, 
state and local, are too uncertain as to content 
and/or timing to be established as part of a hous- 
ing plan at this time. 



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Codes and Code Enforcement 

A survey of housing-related codes, their basis in Florida 
law, and their present status of enforcement in Alachua County 
and municipalities has determined the following: 

1. Development Controls - Subdivision Regulations: 

(a) that only four of the ten political jurisdictions 
of Alachua County have adopted subdivision 
regulations; and 

(b) that both major and minor differences exist 
in their respective requirements--dif ferences 
ranging from relatively minor requirements 
concerning the scale at which and the size 

of paper on which the final plat is drawn to 
relatively major requirements regarding the 
dedication and standards of improvement for 
streets. 

2. Development Controls - Zoning Ordinances: 

(a) that six of the ten jurisdictions have adopted 
zoning ordinances; and 

(b) that these ordinances vary in their respective 
designations and requirements — variations 
ranging from simple zone designation to the 
lot/ building and use requirements contained 
therein. 

3. That the State of Florida has adopted standards for 
the purpose of regulating the following types of 
construction and development activities and materials: 

(a) hotel and restaurant construction; 

(b) elevator construction; 

(c) school building construction; 

(d) fire safety; 

(e) sewerage disposal facilities; 



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(f) water supply systems; 

(g) mobile home construction; 
(h) factory-built housing; 

(i) liquefied petroleum gas facilities; 
(j) glass materials. 
Building Code : 

(a) that the State of Florida will require all 
counties and municipalities to adopt and 
enforce one of several model building codes 
by January 1, 197 5; and 

(b) that nine of the ten jurisdictions of Alachua 
County presently enforce a building code; and 

(c) that all nine utilize the Southern Standard 
Building Code ; however , not all of them use 
the same edition and/or amendments . 

Electrical Code: 

(a) that the State of Florida presently requires 
all counties and municipalities to adopt 
and enforce the National Electrical Code 
within their areas of jurisdiction; and 

(b) that two of the ten jurisdictions of Alachua 
County are not currently enforcing this code 
and, therefore, are in violation with Florida 
law; and 

(c) that the other eight jurisdictions enforcing 
this code utilize different editions. 

Plumbing Code : 

(a) that the State of Florida has established a 
plumbing code; hov/ever, Alachua County and 
communities are specifically exempted from 
the requirements of this law; and 

(b) that eight of the ten jurisdictions of Alachua 
County are currently enforcing a plumbing code 
anyway ; and 



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(c) that all eight utilize the Southern Standard 
Plumbing Code ; however, different editions/ 
amendments are enforced. 

7. Gas Code: 

(a) that three of the ten jurisdictions of Alachua 
County are enforcing a gas piping/gas appliance 
code ; and 

(b) that two of the three utilize the gas code 
developed by the Southern Building Code Congress, 
but have adopted different amendments; 
whereas, the third jurisdiction uses the 

code developed by the National Fire Protec- 
tion Association. 

8. Code Enforcement: 

(a) that four of the nine municipalities of Alachua 
County presently contract with the county for 
construction code inspection services; and 

(b) therefore, a total of five jurisdictions in 
Alachua County have uniform codes and code 
enforcement. 

9. Housing Code: 

(a) that two of the ten jurisdictions of Alachua 
County have adopted a housing code; and 

(b) that only one of the two has established a 
systematic code compliance program for 
implementing the code. 



RECOr#lENDATIONS 

Based upon the above findings and recognizing the fact that 
problems associated with housing do not begin and end at 
jurisdictional boundaries and that programs initiated to help 
solve these problems can achieve greater overall effective- 
ness if their planning and implementation are coordinated 



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among jurisdictions, it is recommended that a committee on 
housing, having at least one representative from each of 
the ten jurisdictions of Alachua County, be established for 
the purpose of advising the Council in the development of a 
comprehensive area-wide housing plan. It is further recom- 
mended that the committee consider the adoption as part of 
this plan, one or more of the following alternatives: 



1. A plan for utilizing Section 23 Housing Assistance 
Payments: Existing Housing (federal rent subsidy 
program) . 

2. A plan for utilizing the state's Rural Land Site 
Acquisition and Development Fund in conjunction 
with one or more of the following federal housing 
assistance programs: 

(a) Farmers Home Administration Rural Housing 
Loan Program (interest subsidy) . 

(b) Farmers Home Administration Rural Rental 
Housing Loan Program (interest subsidy) . 

(c) Farmers Home Administration Rural Self- 
Help Technical Assistance Program (techni- 
cal assistance grant) . 

3. The adoption of housing codes and the establishment 
of systematic code compliance programs for Alachua 
County and communities having less than 10,000 
population in order that two Farmers Home Adminis- 
tration programs involving subsidized housing repair 
loans may be used to the maximum possible extent. 
These are Section 502 Rural Housing Loans, and 
Section 504 Rural Housing Repair Loans. 

It is also recommended that the committee consider joint action 
on the following items: 

1. the elimination of all unnecessary differences in 
existing subdivision regulations, and the develop- 
ment of regulations for those communities which do 
not presently have any. 



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The establishment of similar zone classifications 
and zone requirements for all undeveloped border 
areas between communities where to do so will not 
misrepresent either community's land use plan, and 
the development of land use plans and zoning 
ordinances for those communities which do not pres- 
ently have any regulations. 

The establishment of uniform construction codes 
(building, plumbing, electrical and gas) through- 
out Alachua County, and the development of a method 
to ensure the uniform adoption of new editions 
and amendments to the codes. 

The establishment of a uniform system of code 
enforcement throughout Alachua County utilizing 
either a single county-wide agency or joint 
training sessions for all inspectors operating 
within the county. 



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PART II 

CHAPTER THREE 

HOUSING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS 



A study completed by this agency in 1973 projected a county- 
wide need of over 56,000 housing units by the year 1985. 
The total number of existing housing units was estimated by 
*^the report to be 38,861; however, over 4,000 of these units 
were considered dilapidated. Thus, a total of 21,38 new 
housing units must be constructed to meet 1985 needs. Al- 
though recent trends in construction rates (1968-72) for the 
county indicated that if continued the projected need would 
be met, the report further compared projected median family 
income with projected costs of housing to find an ever- 
increasing gap between the two. In carrying all projections 
to the year 1985, the report concludes that nearly 40 percent 
of all families will be unable to afford housing which costs 
more than $24,000 — while the average cost of a 1,200 square 
foot, three bedroom house is anticipated to be in the range 
of $43,000. (N.C.F.R.P.C. , Housing, 1973 ). 

This is how the housing future looked last year. In this 
year of 1974, the outlook is even more gloomy. During and 
since the 1973 report, the housing industry has gone into 
a major slump--with new housing starts dropping off drasti- 
cally from an all-time nationwide high in 1972. A number 
of reasons for this slump are being cited such as material 
shortages, tight money markets and the winding down of major 
federal housing assistance programs. If this slump persists 
for any length of time, the housing supply projections will 
certainly have to be adjusted downward. 



One factor that has net reversed directions, hcv:ever , is 
housing costs. The Department of Housing and Urban Develop- 
ment (DHUC) recently announced that a nationwide survey cor.- 
ple-ed by the National Association of Kor.e Builders found 
that housing costs rose an average of 5 percent betv;een 
1966 and 1974--42.8 percent for nev; housing and 6C.5 percent 
for existing units. ( I-Xi: Newsletter , April, 1974). 

Shortages in supply and increasing costs, of course, affects 
everycne. Nevertheless, the greatest negative ir.pact of 
these trends is on low- and f ixed-incoir.e groups. V.'ithout 
help, a majority of rhese people v;ill increasingly be without 
a "decent hor.e". Fror. v:here will this help cor^e? .... 
and in what fonr.? 

This section atterrpts to ansvrer rhese two questions. The 
objective is tc identify both existing and proposed prograr.s , 
federal, state and local, which ray provide viable alterna- 
tives to the jurisdictions of Alachua County for the purpose 
of increasing the quantity and irproving the quality of 
housing for z'r.eir citizens. 

The magnitude of housing probler.s is such as to require r.assive 
federal and/or state participation. Local governrrients generally 
do not have the necessary resources tc have a major irpact 
on housing supply. Although the ranks of federal housing 
assistance prograr.s have been substantially reduced, a fev; 
programs still rer.ain and other programs are being proposed. 
The State of Florida has recently initiated one loan programi 
to local goverr-ments for the ultimate purpose of providing 
low-income housing, and is also considering the establishm.ent 
of a state housing finance agency. Finally, a number of 
local gcvernm.ents are attempting various projects on their 



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own. The following discussion examines these programs, exist- 
ing and proposed, federal, state and local, and is subdivided 
accordingly. 



FEDERAL PROGR?\MS 

Existing 

Most of the existing federal housing assistance prograir.s listed 
in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance are geared to 
help middle-income families obtain mortgage financing. These 
are the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Farmers Hone 
Administration (FmHA) guaranteed/insured loan programs which 
simply insure repayment of all or part of a loan acquired on 
the private market at near-normal interest rates. Most of 
the programs set limits as to the insurable amount and the 
rate of interest — both of which are generally set too low 
for today's housing and money markets. 



•esident Ni; 



In an effort to stimulate new housing starts. President Nixon 
announced last May plans for the federal govermr.ent to provide 
over $10 billion to the mortgage m.arket, part of which is in 
relation to the programs above. Some of this money would be 
used to subsidize the differences between 7 3/4 percent interest 
rate and the then current miarket rate of over 9 percent. 
Recent reports, however, indicate that the money isn't being 
used. This is due in part to the rapidly increasing costs 
of housing--costs well above the maximum allowable miortgage 
under the programs above. ( Gainesville Sun , "Efforts to 
Stimulate Housing Aren't Succeeding", July 21, 1974). 



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The housing assistance programs most heavily affected by recent 
federal cut-backs are the low-income subsidy programs. While 
others are still listed in the federal catalog, only five 
programs remain which provide assistance in the form of rent 
or interest subsidies or grants — and which are aimed primarily 
at helping low and low-medium income groups . These programs 
are briefly described as follows: 



Housing Assistance Payments Program.--Existing Hous ing - 
administered by the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development as provided for by Section 23 of the U.S. 
Housing Act of 1937 as amended by the Housing and Urban 
Act of 1965. This program provides housing assistance 
payments on behalf of eligible low-income families 
leasing privately-owned, existing, decent, safe and 
sanitary housing. Once referred to as "leased public 
housing", this program was recently amended to its 
present form which provides more emphasis on existing 
housing as opposed to the construction of nev^ housing. 
The program makes up that difference in rent between 
what the person renting can afford (lim.ited to 25 
percent of income) and rental-market rates. The money 
is funneled through local housing authorities who 
administer the program in their areas of responsibility. 



Rural Housing Loans - administered by the Farmers Home 
Administration as provided by Section 502 of the Housing 
Act of 1949 as amended. This program provides direct 



Up-to-date information concerning active and inactive 
programs was obtained from officials located at the Jackson- 
ville Area Office, Department of Housing and Urban Develop- 
ment, and the State Office, Farmers Home Administration, 
Gainesville. A number of programs are being continued only 
for the purpose of maintaining existing supplies of public 
housing and for following through on previous commitments. 
No additional units of public housing will be built or subsi- 
dized under these programs. For purposes of this report, 
only those programs allowed to expand are being considered 
here. 



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loans and insured loans to assist rural families in 
obtaining decent, safe and sanitary housing and other 
related facilities. The loans can be used -for the 
purchase or repair of dwellings and related facilities, 
e.g., sewerage facilities, and may have a subsidized 
interest rate to as low as 1 percent. The program 
is geared for low to moderate income families living 
or who, upon purchase, will live in unincorporated 
areas or places having less than 10,000 population. 



Rural Housing Repair Loans - administered by the 
Farmers Home Administration as provided by Section 504 
of the Housing Act of 1949 as amended. This program 
provides direct or insured loans to assist very low 
income rural families in making minor essential repairs 
to their homes in order to make them safe and remove 
health hazards to the family and the community. The 
program is aimed at those home-owners who do not 
qualify for Section 502 repair loans. A maximum of 
$2,500 per home-owned unit is authorized with an 
additional $1,000 allowed for the installation of 
water, sewerage and/or bathroom and kitchen facilities. 
Loans may have a subsidized interest rate to as low 
as 1 percent. 



Rural Rental Housing Loans - administered by the 
Farmers Home Administration as provided by Sections 515 
and 521, Housing Act of 1949 as amended. This program 
provides direct or insured loans for the purpose of 
constructing, purchasing, improving or repairing rental 
or cooperative housing. Loans with interest rates 
subsidized to as low as 1 percent may be made to owners 
who rent to low-income families. Applicants may be 
individuals, cooperatives, nonprofit organizations or 
corporations who do not have adequate resources of 
their own and who are unable to obtain credit from 
the private market. 



Rural Self-Help Technical Assistance - administered 
by the Farmers Home Administration as provided by 
Section 523, Housing Act of 1949 as amended. This 
program provides financial support for the promotion 
of technical and supervisory assistance which will 
aid needy low-income individuals and their families 
in carrying out mutual self-help efforts in rural 
areas. Grant funds may be used to provide for 



-21- 



technical assistance personnel, cover general adminis- 
trative costs, provide essential pov;er tools and pay 
fees for training self-help group members in construc- 
tion techniques. Applicants may be a State or political 
subdivision thereof, and public or private non-profit 
corporations . 



Proposed 

Proposed federally-assisted housing programs can be divided by 
their origin, that is, programs being proposed by the President, 
and programs being proposed by the Congress. While a number 
of large differences exist in the proposals, the approach is 
similar in that both the Congress and the President support a 
change from the existing method which utilizes a system of 
separate "categorical" grants--to a system of "block" grants 
whereby recipients will have greater discretionary power 
as to how the money will be spent. 



Administration Proposals 

Outside of maintaining those FHA and Fm.HA home mortgage 
guaranteed loan programs aim^ed to help the middle-income 
buyer already discussed, the Administration is proposing 
only one housing program to aid low-income families. Tech- 
nically, even this program hasn't reached the proposal stage 
yet as it is in the process of being tested in various cities 
and rural areas across the nation. In the meantime, the 
Administration is utilizing the existing Section 23 Housing 
Assistance Payments program as amended pending a comiplete 
evaluation of the experimental program. 



-22- 



The thrust of the experimental program is to find out whether 
direct cash allowances to the poor for housing will work 
better than the subsidy programs for developers utilized in 
the past. The underlying prem.ise of this approach is that 
the basic problem, facing the poor is lack of income, not 
so much lack of housing. Backers of this proposal hope 
that this approach will cause maximum use be made of existing 
housing by encouraging landlords to bring existing structures 
up to standard in order to meet the increased demand for low- 
income housing. The approach de-emphasizes the construction 
of new low-income housing units. 

The President has already proposed a bill entitled the "Better 
Communities act" as the block-grant replacement for the former 
categorical grant programs relating to community development, 
that is, those programs aimed at urban renewal, neighborhood 
development, water/sewer systems, recreation and others. 
However, this proposal does not tie into any housing assist- 
ance programs, existing or proposed. 



Congressional Proposals 

In contrast to the President's separate proposals concerning 
housing and community development, Congress is proposing a 
so-called "omnibus" bill, that is, a bill which provides for 
a number of related programs under a single piece of legisla- 
tion. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have 
passed differing versions of a bill which includes chapters 
dealing with community development, comprehensive planning, 
housing assistance (urban and rural) , and other related 
activities. Apparently, the major differences between the 



-23- 



two bills pertain mainly to the housing assistance programs, 
with the House of Representatives version reflecting the 
basic Administration proposals (described above) . This bill 
is reportedly receiving Presidential support. On the other 
hand, the Senate wishes to retain several of the more success- 
ful existing programs which aid production as well as provide 
rent subsidies to the very poor. The Senate's position is 
that adequate supplies of low-income housing do not presently 
exist. 

A House-Senate conference committee is presently attempting 
to resolve the differences between the two bills. Presumably, 
some middle ground will be reached; however, it is uncertain 
at this time which of the proposed provisions will be reported 
out of committee. 



STATE PROGRAMS 

Recognizing the need for defining the state's role concerning 
the provision of housing for all segments of the state's 
population, the Florida Legislature enacted a bill requiring 
the governor to submit to the 1973 Legislature a state housing 
plan. This bill, entitled the "Florida Housing Act of 1972", 
is found in Chapter 420, Florida Statutes. 

As prescribed by law. Governor Askew prepared a housing plan 
which set forth state housing production and rehabilitation 
needs for a twelve-year period ending in June, 1985. The 



-24- 



governor further provided the legislature with recoininenda- 
tions for state action — action designed to help meet pro- 
jected needs for housing during this period. In developing 
these recommendations, the governor recognized the state's 
dependency on Federal housing assistance programs and, there- 
fore, the major programs recommended were designed to augment 
existing and proposed federal programs. A description of 
these programs, both enacted and proposed, follows. 



Existing 

Although the state has recently passed a number of measures 
designed to expedite housing construction such as a statewide 
building code requirement and manpower assistance to county 
offices of the Farmers Home Administration, only two major 
state housing assistance programs presently exist. 



Florida Housing Development Corporation 

Part II of Chapter 420, Florida Statutes, authorizes the 
establishment of a private, profit-making corporation for the 
purpose of promoting and developing housing within the state. 
Although passed by the state legislature in 1972, certain 
provisions of the state law required special federal enabling 
legislation before the law could be implemented. This neces- 
sary federal legislation was subsequently passed in 1973. 
As embodied by the act, the primary purposes of the Florida 
Housing Development Corporation are as follows: 



-25- 



1. To mobilize capital; 

2. To finance new or rehabilitated housing for 
persons of low or moderate incom.e in the state; 

3. To find new methods of providing subsidies for 
housing; 

4. To encourage and assist, through loans, including 
loans at below market interest rates, investments, 
or other business transactions, in the elimination 
of substandard housing in this state; 

5. To rehabilitate and assist existing housing, and 
so to stimulate and assist in the expansion of 
all kinds of housing activity which will tend to 
promote the development of new or rehabilitated 
housing and improve the standard of living of 
the citizens of this state; 

6. To cooperate and act in conjunction with other 
organizations, public or private, in the promotion 
and advancement of housing developments in this 
state; and 

7. To provide financing for the construction of all 
kinds of housing activity in this state. 

Although the purposes provide for a focus on the promotion of 
housing for low-income persons, economic reality suggests that 
this part of the corporation's function will be somewhat 
limited. ( Housing in Florida , Vol. 5, pp. 66-67). 

Such a corporation is in the process of being established 
at this time. (Interview with Tom Lewis, Departm.ent of Com- 
munity Affairs, Tallahassee). According to law, a minimum 
of 15 banks, loan associations and other similar type organi- 
zations authorized to do business in the state must become 
stock-holders of the corporation to an aggregate amount of 
not less than $100,000. 



-■ye.- 



Rural Land Site Acquisition and Development Fund 

This program is one which evolved from those recommendations 
developed as part of the state's housing plan. The program 
provides for a revolving state loan fund of $2 1/2 million 
for the purpose of making funds available to rural housing 
authorities and/or local governments for the advance acqui- 
sition and development of land for housing low and moderate- 
income families. 

With spiraling land costs, this program takes its lead from 
large private developers who have been purchasing large areas 
of "cheap" land outside the urban areas for the purpose of 
building housing for medium and high-income families. The 
idea is for this program to augment local resources with low- 
cost state loans in order that local authorities may purchase 
and develop land before it appreciates too much in value. 
The price paid for the land would have to be low enough to 
be eligible for publicly-assisted housing programs. 

This advance site acquisition program is directed at short- 
term housing needs only. The program is not to be utilized 
as a means of controlling urban growth. The intent of the 
program is that once land is acquired and made ready for 
sponsors to build on, it would be made available for sale. 
This program was just recently enacted by the Florida Legisla- 
ture and the specific rules and regulations are presently 
being prepared. These guidelines should be available by 
late October of this year. (Interview with Tom Lewis, 
Department of Community Affairs, July, 1974). 



-27- 



Proposed 

The two existing state housing programs discussed above focus 
on the construction of housing for low and moderate-incoir.e 
families. A third program has been proposed which would pro- 
vide for subsidized interest rates on mortgages made directly 
to this same income group for the purchase of housing. This 
program involves the creation of a state housing finance 
agency. 

Technically, a specific program of this nature has not yet 
been proposed--rather , the proposal is for further study of 
the feasibility of a state finance agency only. While the 
method of operation for such an agency can take several forms 
(and several are apparently being considered) , the intent 
of the agency would be to provide low-interest loans to eli- 
gible families for the purchase of housing. The difference 
in interest rates would either be subsidized entirely by the 
state, the federal government or a combination of both. In 
the former case, the state would utilize its ability to 
acquire lower interest rates on loans and bonds, along with 
savings which result from its tax-exempt status. These 
savings could then be passed on to the individual. In the 
latter two cases, direct federal subsidies to the state 
would be involved. 

Apparently several legal as well as other questions pertaining 
to the effectiveness of such a state program, still need to 
be resolved. The program is also dependent to some extent 
on the form that future federal housing assistance programs 
take. However, it is anticipated that such an agency will 



-28- 



be recommended to the Florida Legislature at some future 
date. 



LOCAL PROGRAJyiS 

Only one program presently exists within Alachua County which 
is entirely sponsored by a unit of local government for the 
purpose of providing housing for low-income families. While 
other housing subsidy programs within the county continue to 
function, these programs are neither local in origin (as 
defined in this report) and, with the possible exception of 
Section 23 Housing Assistance Payments Program, nor will the 
number of units sponsored by these programs be increased. 
This is referring to those public housing and rent supplement 
projects which were developed by local sponsors with the aid 
of several federal housing assistance programs — programs now 
in the process of being phased out. Although no new units 
are being subsidized, existing supplies are continuing to 
receive federal assistance for operation and maintenance purposes 



Existing 

In October, 1973, the City of Gainesville authorized $50,000 
of revenue sharing money for the purpose of funding a pilot 



2 

Information concerning this program was obtained from 

several sources: Housing in Florida , Vol 2; First Annual 
Report on State Housing Goals , 1973; and Housing in Florida, 
1974 . All of these studies were prepared in part by the 
State Department of Community Affairs. 



-29- 



program designed to provide home ownership for low-income 
families. Specifically, the program provides for a one-time 
grant to families to be used toward the down payment and 
closing costs on new or rehabilitated houses. Depending 
upon need, families may receive up to $1,500 for this pur- 
pose. The program further provides for counseling services 
to the participants concerning hom.e budgetary, maintenance, 
insurance and financing. An estimated 30 families, whose 
incomes are just above the maximmri allowed in order to 
qualify for public housing, will be able to receive assist- 
ance under this program. 



Proposed 

While the above pilot program is presently underway within 
the City of Gainesville, a different kind of program, is being 
proposed for Alachua County. The county program emphasizes 
the construction of housing for low-income families. As 
proposed, the county would provide $750,000 worth of revenue 
certificates to a non-profit corporation for the purpose 
of constructing low-cost housing. The intent of the program 
is to keep the cost of the houses down to a point where 
buyers would not have to pay more than $100 per month for 
purchase. The concept is similar to the one proposed in the 
state housing finance agency discussed previously. Also 
similar to the state proposal, however, certain legal ques- 
tions must be resolved before the program can be implemented. 
In the meantime, the county has adopted an ordinance authoriz- 
ing the issuance of the necessary revenue certificates. 



-30- 



SUMMARY OF HOUSING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS 

Due to a change in policy at the national level, only five 
federal subsidy or grant housing assistance programs remain 
as viable alternatives for utilization by local governments. 
Four of these programs apply only to rural areas . Two ver- 
sions of a major housing bill are presently being considered 
by a joint House-Senate conference committee of the U.S. Con- 
gress. One version proposes to m.aintain existing programs 
for the most part, while the other version would reinstate 
several former subsidy programs for housing construction. 
A new experimental program consisting of direct cash housing 
allowances to the poor is currently being tested by the Admin- 
istration as a major alternative to housing construction 
subsidy programs. 

The State of Florida has only recently established housing 
objectives and subsequent housing legislation. Two major 
state housing assistance programs are in the process of 
becoming established and a third is presently being considered 
for possible future legislation. One of the two existing 
programs applies only to rural areas. Both programs are 
expected to benefit moderate-income more than low-income 
families. Both also focus on housing production as opposed 
to home purchase. 

One local housing assistance program has been initiated on 
a trial basis. This program provides direct grants and 
counseling services for home ownership to low-income families 
within the City of Gainesville. One other program emphasizing 
housing construction for low-income families has been proposed 
and accepted by the Board of County Commissioners, Alachua 



-31- 



County; hov;ever , a question concerning the program's legality 
under the present state constitution must be resolved before 
the program can be implemented. 



CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 

The limited and fragmented nature of existing housing assist- 
ance programs and the uncertainty of those proposed severely 
restricts the number of viable alternatives available to the 
jurisdictions of Alachua County for the purpose of increasing 
the quantity and improving the quality of housing for their 
citizens. A study of these program.s shows this to be especi- 
ally true for the City of Gainesville. The recent federal 
cut-back on housing subsidy programs has left only one pro- 
gram which can be utilized by the larger urban areas. This 
is the Housing Assistance Payments Program, better known as 
"Section 23". Even this program does not present the city 
with much of an alternative since present funding levels 
provide for only 50 units for the entire State of Florida. 
(Source: Area Office of the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development/ Jacksonville) . Since both houses of Congress 
have included this program in their differing versions of 
housing legislation, however, it is anticipated that this pro- 
gram will receive expanded funding in the near future. The 
only state program which may offer any opportunities to the 
city is the Housing Development Corporation. However, such 
a corporation has not yet been established in the state. 
Also, the effectiveness of this approach in providing housing 
for low-income families is questionable. Thus, until new 
federal legislation is enacted, the entire burden of pro- 
viding more families with decent housing rests on the city 
alone. The city is presently doing this in two ways: the 



•-32- 



pilot home-ownership grant program described above; and a hous- 
ing code compliance program discussed in the next chapter. 

The remaining federal and state subsidy programs are restricted 
geographically to unincorporated areas and/or urban areas 
having less than 10,000 population. These limits include 
all the remaining nine jurisdictions of Alachua County. While 
a number of these programs can be utilized on an individual 
basis, an analysis of the programs indicates that together, 
the effectiveness of the programs in providing housing for 
low-income families could be greatly increased. The key 
program in this integration process is the recently enacted 
state Rural Land Site Acquisition and Development Fund--a 
program designed to reduce the costs of land and land develop- 
ment to sponsors of low- and moderate-income housing. 

The state anticipated this type of coordinated program develop- 
ment when the bill was passed. It was initially thought that 
Section 2 3 would be the primary program that low-incomce hous- 
ing sponsors could utilize in conjunction with the state land 
acquisition program. However, recent amendments to Section 2 3 
emphasize the use of existing housing. Nevertheless, a number 
of other housing assistance programs which do emphasize new 
construction may be utilized. These are the Farmers Home 
Administration Rural Housing Loan Program, Rural Rental Hous- 
ing Loan Program and the Rural Self-Kelp Technical Assistance 
Program. The first two programs provide for interest subsidies 
on direct or insured loans for the purpose of constructing 
new single and multi-family dwellings, while the third program 
provides local governments or housing authorities with grants 
for the purpose of providing direct supervisory construction 
assistance to self-help groups. These programs have been 
previously described and will not be repeated here. 



-33- 



other possible combinations are the site acquisition program 
along with the county-sponsored construction program, the 
Housing Development Corporation, and/or a program utilizing 
less-costly factory-built houses or possibly even mobile 
homes. These possible combinations are more remote due to 
the legal questions involved with the county proposal , a 
question as to whether the state will allow modular or mobile 
homes to be used in conjunction with the program, and the 
uncertain status and questionable effectiveness of the Hous- 
ing Development Corporation. 

Two of the Farmers Home Administration assistance programs 
provide for subsidized housing repair loans. Both the unin- 
corporated areas of the county and the smaller communities 
qualify geographically for these programs. These programs 
provide another possible alternative to these areas for 
inclusion into a comprehensive housing effort. These pro- 
grams could be utilized in conjunction with housing code 
enforcement programs for the purpose of upgrading the quality 
of existing housing. A detailed discussion of housing code 
compliance programs is provided in the following chapter. 

As indicated in the introductory chapter, this report is 
preparatory to next year's development of a housing plan 
for Alachua County and municipalities. Even though most 
existing federal and state housing assistance programs are 
restricted in their application to either urban areas or 
rural areas, such a plan should not be developed in isola- 
tion by the various communities. It is a widely accepted 
fact that whatever one jurisdiction does or does not do in 
terms of solving its housing problems, other jurisdictions 
in the general vicinity are also affected. Furthermore, 
even though separate housing programs will be involved in 



34- 



these communities, these programs can achieve greater overall 
effectiveness if their planning and implementation are coordi- 
nated. Therefore, it is recommended that a committee, having 
at least one representative from each of the ten jurisdictions 
in Alachua County, be established for the purpose of advising 
the Regional Council in the development of a comprehensive 
area-wide housing plan. It is further recommended that this 
committee consider the adoption as part of this plan, one or 
more of the following alternatives: 

1. A plan for utilizing Section 23 Housing Assistance 
Payments--Existing Housing (rent subsidy program) . 

2. A plan for utilizing the state's Rural Land Site 
Acquisition and Development Fund in conjunction 
with one or more of the f olloiwng federal programs : 

(a) FmHA - Rural Housing Loan Program (interest 
subsidy) 

(b) FmHA - Rural Rental Housing Loan Program 

(interest subsidy) 

(c) FmHA - Rural Self -Help Technical Assistance 
Program (grant) 

3. A plan for making maximum use of two Farmers Home 
Administration subsidized housing repair loan 
programs. These are: Section 502 Rural Housing 
Loans; and Section 504 Rural Housing Repair Loans. 

Finally, it is recommended that the committee design the 
housing plan in such a way that housing assistance programs 
only now being proposed may, upon enactment, be easily amended 
to and made a part of the total housing program. 



-35- 



PART III 

CHAPTER FOUR 
HOUSING AND HOUSING-RELATED CODES 



This final section of the report focuses on those standards 
adopted by units of local governments covering the develop- 
ment and maintenance of land and structures within their areas 
of jurisdiction. Such standards are adopted by governmental 
entities in order to meet their responsibilities in providing 
for the health and safety of their citizens. However, posi- 
tive secondary effects are also realized by communities and 
citizens alike. Though primarily geared to the physical 
protection of people, the establishment of minimum standards 
allows a measure of protection for a person's investment — 
whether it be a home, business, or parcel of land — and in 
doing so, has the added favorable effect of lowering insurance 
rates covering such investments. The adoption of minimum 
standards can further qualify jurisdictions for special 
federal-aid programs, for example, the recently enacted 
Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 which provides for 
subsidized flood insurance to people located in flood-prone 
areas . 

Except in certain cases where it is more efficient or effec- 
tive to have state or federal regulation (such as in manu- 
factured housing), the authority to prepare, administer, and 
enforce construction and development standards in Florida is 
delegated to the units of general purpose government, that 
is, counties and municipalities. As established in a series 
of studies compiled by the Governor's Task Force on Housing, 



the justification and need for having minimum standards relat- 
ing to housing are generally conceded by local governments 
throughout Florida and, as will be seen, are widely accepted 
in Alachua County and municipalities. ( Housing in Florida , 
Volumes 1-5, 1972). Nevertheless, standards utilized by 
jurisdictions can and do vary among units of local govern- 
ment--a proliferation of codes and enforcement procedures 
which can create unintentioned obstacles to development and, 
therefore, result in higher costs of housing and other types 
of development. 

Recognizing the need for eliminating problems created by 
inconsistencies among jurisdictions concerning construction 
and development standards, steps are being taken toward 
studying the feasibility of establishing uniform area-wide 
codes and systems of enforcement both at the state and local 
levels of government. This study represents one of these 
efforts; however, the purpose is somewhat more limited in 
scope in that the feasibility of establishing uniform codes 
throughout Alachua County can only be determined by the 
jurisdictions affected. Therefore, the primary objective 
of the following discussion is to provide in a single docu- 
ment, information which can be utilized by the local govern- 
ments of Alachua County for such a purpose. 



-38- 



CODES AND CODE ENFORCEMENT: 
ALACHUA COUNTY AND TIUNICIPALITIES 



The following relates the existing situation concerning housing 
and housing-related codes in Alachua County and municipalities . 
For purposes of discussion these standards are subdivided into 
basically three types: (1) Development Standards which include 
subdivision regulations and zoning ordinances; (2) Construction 
Standards which include building, electrical, plumbing and 
gas codes; and (3) Maintenance Standards which include housing 
codes. 



Development Standards 

Development Standards are primarily concerned with the improve- 
ment and use of land. Their purpose is to insure that, among 
other things, lots are subdivided properly, adequate and suit- 
able community services are provided the development, and 
uses of adjoining parcels are compatible. In this category 
are placed subdivision regulations and zoning ordinances. 



Subdivision Regulations 

Though often considered to be a post-World War II phenomenon, 
codefied standards governing the subdivision of land have been 
traced back to the earliest European settlements in this coun- 
try. As the nation developed, subdivision regulations were 
increasingly adopted by units of local government to insure 
that proposed subdivisions were accurately surveyed and 



-39- 



platted, and that they provided for a logical extension of 
existing development. In more recent years, communities have 
begun to require an increasing number of improvements be 
provided a development before plats can be recorded and lots 
sold. Such improvements generally include some or all of 
the following: (1) safe water and sanitary sewage systems; 
(2) safe design and proper construction of street and drain- 
age systems; (3) design of water and street systems to provide 
for adequate fire-fighting capabilities; and (4) dedication 
of land for public use, for example, schools and parks (ICMA, 
Principles and Practice of Urban Planning , 1968, pp. 443-45). 

Presently within the State of Florida, local government author- 
ity to adopt and enforce regulations governing the subdivision 
and improvement of land is specifically provided for by 
Chapter 163 Florida Statutes. While this law establishes in 
some detail the procedures for adopting and enforcing this 
authority, it does not repeal or modify any other local or 
special legislative act relating to subdivision regulations 
utilized by units of local government prior to the passage 
of this act in 1969. Other laws which more indirectly relate 
to the subdivision and improvement of land in Florida are 
Chapters 125, 165, 166, 177, 380, 381 and 403, Florida Statutes 
Chapters 165 and 166 delegate powers of incorporation, eminent 
domain, taxation, and other "home rule" authorities to munici- 
palities; whereas. Chapter 125 delegates similar authorities 
to counties. Chapter 177 establishes minimum requirements 
for plats accepted for recording by county clerks or other 
public recording officers; while Chapter 380 requires that 
subdivision developments over a certain size (minimum size 
determined by county's population) be reviewed for their 
regional (multi-county) impact by area-wide planning councils 



-40- 



vjhose recommendations must be considered by local governments 
prior to issuing development permits. Finally, Chapters 381 
and 403 provide for State Division of Health approval of 
plans for water, and Department of Pollution Control approval 
for sanitary sewer systems prior to their installation in 
subdivisions . 

Out of all of these, only the last four can be considered 
state requirements as such and in each of these cases, the 
enforcement authority is delegated to local governments under 
general state supervision. The important point to note, 
however, is that whereas units of local government are dele- 
gated the authority to establish and enforce minimum stan- 
dards of development regarding the subdivision and develop- 
ment of land within their areas of jurisdiction, they are 
not necessarily required to do so. State law simply requires 
that counties follow certain procedures in the recording of 
plats and in the permitting of water and sewer systems, and 
that municipalities and counties alike follow those guide- 
lines established for the review of Developments of Regional 
Impact. 

At the present time, only four of the ten jurisdictions in 
Alachua County have adopted subdivision regulations. These 
are Alachua County, and the Cities of Archer, Gainesville, 
and High Springs. Several other communities are presently 
considering the adoption of subdivision regulations and, 
at least two of those communities which have not adopted 
subdivision regulations require that subdivision plats be 
reviewed by their planning and/or city commissions. 
(Interviews with local officials. May, 1974.) 



-41- 



Between the subdivision regulations presently in force within 
the county, a number of differences exist in their respective 
requirements. These differences range from relatively minor 
requirements regarding the scale at which and the size of 
paper on which the final plat is drawn, to relatively major 
requirements concerning the dedication and standards of 
improvement for streets. Even in this latter case, however, 
the differences appear to be relatively minor in nature. 

As indicated earlier, the purpose of this section is to out- 
line the nature of the problem--if any are found to exist. 
Several local officials interviewed expressed the view that 
the lack of subdivision regulations in some of the communities 
and the differing requirements of those regulations in force 
in others do cause problems--to developers and enforcing 
officials alike. On the one hand, developers who dislike 
certain requirements will sometimes threaten to locate their 
development in areas having little or no regulations; while 
on the other hand, developers who see the benefits and willing- 
ly go along with such requirements are faced with sometimes 
trivial differences in regulations from one community to 
another. These differences become major cost factors, especi- 
ally in the case of the subdivision development strattling 
two political jurisdictions. 

In conclusion, essentially two types of problems have emerged 
from this brief survey concerning the adoption and enforce- 
ment of subdivision regulations in Alachua County and munici- 
palities. First, a number of communities have not adopted 
a formal set of subdivision regulations. These communities 
not only risk possible substandard development occurring 
in their areas of jurisdiction at some point in the future. 



-42- 



but they also severely limit their options for controlling 
the growth and development of their areas. The • second problem 
identified are those communities vhich have adopted subdivision 
regulations, but are utilizing different requirements--dif f er- 
ences which may not be necessary nor very large, yet still 
can create obstacles to the developm.ent of reasonably-priced 
housing and other activities within their areas of jurisdiction 



Zoning Ordinances 

Whereas subdivision regulations have been around since our 
nation's beginnings, zoning ordinances are a relatively recent 
phenomenon, with the first effort at contemporary zoning 
in this country occurring in New York City in 1916 (ICMA, 
Principles and Practices of Urban Planning , 1968, pp. 403- 
42). Like subdivision regulations, zoning ordinances are 
legal instruments utilized by jurisdictions for the ultimate 
purpose of providing for the health, safety and welfare of 
citizens . 

Zoning is one of the most misunderstood and, in some areas, 
mistrusted tools available for use to local governments. 
Used correctly, zoning can provide for the orderly growth 
and development of an area by insuring that new growth is 
directed into appropriate places according to a logically 
developed land-use plan. In doing so, it protects the indi- 
vidual citizen by stabilizing and preserving property values 
by insuring that land uses in the area are properly situated 
in relation to one another, and by providing adequate space 
necessary to each type of development. It further allov^s the 
control of development density so that each property can be 



-43- 



adequately serviced by community facilities such as streets, 
utilities, schools and parks. Finally, zoning can insure 
that each development is afforded adequate light, air, and 
privacy for the benefit of persons living and working with- 
in the area. 

To accomplish these purposes, zoning ordinances generally 
will divide a jurisdiction into districts based on use, 
such as residential, commercial, and industrial, and will 
regulate within these districts: (1) the height and bulk 
of buildings and other structures; (2) the area of a lot 
which may be occupied and the size of required open spaces; 
(3) the density of population; and (4) the use of buildings 
and land for trade, industry, residence, and other purposes. 

The authority of counties and municipalities in Florida to 
adopt and enforce zoning is specifically delegated by 
Chapter 163, Florida Statutes. As in the case of subdivision 
regulations, this statute does not repeal or modify local 
ordinances developed under other statutes or other special 
acts. The important difference of this statute, however, 
is that it requires that a land-use plan be adopted by juris- 
dictions prior to the establishment of a zoning ordinance 
and map. Other laws which more indirectly relate to local 
government zoning are Chapters 125 (Counties) and 165/166 
(Municipalities). As indicated earlier, these chapters are 
concerned with the establishment and authorities of sub- 
state political divisions and municipal incorporations. 
It should also be noted that Chapters lOD-26 and 14-60, 
Florida Administrative Code, contain special regulations 
pertaining to the development of mobile home parks and air- 
port zoning respectively. 



-44- 



A survey of political jurisdictions in Alachua County shov.'s 
that more communities have adopted zoning ordinances than 
they have subdivision regulations . At the present time 
Alachua County, the Cities of Alachua, Gainesville, Fawthorne, 
High Springs, and Newberry have zoning ordinances in effect. 
A.lso, at least two other communities are in the process of 
establishing such ordinances. (Interviews with local offi- 
cials. May, 1974) . 

A cursory examination of those zoning ordinances points to 
numerous dif f erences--dif f erences ranging from simple zone 
designation to the lot, building and use requirements contained 
therein. For example, the R-A Single Family Residential Zone 
in High Springs is, for all intent and purposes, equivalent 
to the R-la Single Family Residential Zone in Alachua County-- 
different in designation, but only a few minor differnces in 
terms of their respective requirements. On the other hand, 
the R-lc Single-Family Residential Zone designation is utilized 
by both the City of Gainesville and Alachua County; yet their 
respective ordinances show substantial differences in lot 
and building requirements for that particular zone designa- 
tion. 

While differences exist, some major and some minor, the case 
for area-wide uniformity of zoning ordinances cannot be 
argued as strongly as in the case of other housing-related 
codes. For one thing, zoning ordinances should reflect 
existing situations and patterns of development to a large 
degree, and these patterns invariably differ from one com- 
munity to another. Zoning ordinances should also reflect 
the goals and objectives of the individual communities as 
these are embodied in the community's land-use plan. Such 



-45- 



goals and objectives also vary among communities. With 
this being the case, then the question arises as to what can 
be done to help ease the developer's plight when faced with 
the varying requirements of different jurisdictions? 

In some situations, the answer to the above question v;ill 
be "nothing". However, in other cases — especially those 
involving relatively undeveloped "boundary" areas — communities 
may be able to designate similar zone categories and institute 
similar requirements provided their respective land-use plans 
call for the same type and level of development for the area. 
In the present situation in Alachua County, there are a 
number of instances where this is already being done — the 
most obvious example being the City of Gainesville's and 
Alachua County's Single Family Residential R-la zone. Never- 
theless, situations exist whereby similar zone designations 
and/or requirements for adjoining areas located in separate 
political jurisdictions would not probably misrepresent the 
intent of either community's land use plan, yet to have such 
might result in one less obstacle to the developer, a little 
less cost to the consumer and, perhaps, one less headache 
to local officials. 

In summary, it can be stated that essentially the same two 
types of problems are involved with the adoption and imple- 
mentation of both subdivision regulations and zoning ordi- 
nances throughout Alachua County. These are: (1) several 
communities in Alachua County have not adopted either one 
or the other of these two ordinances; and (2) those communi- 
ties that have done so utilize different designations and 
requirements. In the case of zoning ordinances, however, the 
degree to which it is a problem and the degree to which it 



-46- 



can or should be resolved differs substantially from the 
case of subdivision regulations. Nevertheless, improvements 
in both situations are not only possible, but highly desir- 
able for developers, consumers, and communities alike. 



Construction Standards 

Construction standards can be defined as the establishment 
of minimum safeguards covering the design and construction 
of buildings and other facilities for the purpose of pro- 
tecting people who live and work in or around them from 
fire and other hazards, and to further provide for the health 
and safety of the general public. Such standards, in one 
form or another, have been traced back to the earliest days 
of civilized society. (National Commission on Urban Prob- 
lems, Building the American City , 1968, pp. 254-72). 

Specifically, construction standards regulate structural 
loads and stresses in the design and erection of buildings, 
the installation of and materials used in heating, plumbing 
and electrical systems, elevator and escalator construction, 
fireproof ing and safety facilities, light and ventilation 
and many other matters concerned with the facility itself. 
Many people consider the term "construction standards" to 
be synonymous with the so-called "building codes", the lat- 
ter generally meaning to include building, plumbing, electri- 
cal and gas codes. However, construction standards can 
generally be considered to include any regulations which 
establish minimum standards governing the design and con- 
struction of buildings and related facilities. 



■47- 



As with development standards, the establishment and enforce- 
ment of construction standards are provided for under the 
"police-power" authorities of the U. S. Constitution. Many 
of these powers are passed down to units of local govern- 
ment for implemcentation — some on an optional basis. 

For purposes of this discussion — based on existing Florida 
law — construction standards can be categorized into essen- 
tially three basic types: (1) state enforced; (2) locally 
enforced; and (3) optional. The first category is defined 
as including those construction standards which are estab- 
lished state-wide and which are enforced by agencies of 
state government. The second category includes those stan- 
dards promulgated by the state, but which require local 
government adoption and enforcement. The third category 
includes those construction standards not required by state 
law nor necessarily promulgated by the state but often are 
included as part of the normal code requirements of local 
governments . 



State Fnforced Construction Standards 

As stated above, the following represents those construction 
standards which are promulgated and enforced by the various 
agencies of Florida state government. These standards apply 
and are uniformly administered state-v/ide and, therefore, 
only need be listed and briefly summarized for purposes of 
this report. 



The following is largely drawn from a discussion concerning 
state building code functions found in Appendix I, Housing in 
Florida , Vol. 4, prepared by the Governor's Task Force on Housing 
and Community Development. 



-48- 



Hotel and Restaurant Construction - administered 
by the Department of Business Regulations as pro- 
vided for by Chapter 509, Florida Statutes. The 
department utilizes a number of model codes such 
as the Southern Standard Building Code and National 
Electrical Code along with several state developed 
codes. Counties with building departments may 
be certified by the state to conduct the actual 
inspections . 

Elevator Construction - administered by the 
Department of Business Regulations under the 
provisions of Chapter 399, Florida Statutes. 
The departm.ent utilizes the American National 
Standards Institute Code to govern the con- 
struction of all elevators, escalators, dumb- 
waiters and moving walks. 

School Building Construction - administered by 
the Department of Education (Bureau of School 
Facilities) as provided for by Chapter 235, 
Florida Statutes. The department utilizes a 
combination of model and department developed 
codes. Counties must receive State approval 
of both preliminary and final plans before 
initiating construction of the facility. 

Fire Safety - administered by the Department 
of Insurance with the department head also 
designated as State Fire Marshall. Provided 
for by Chapter 633, Florida Statutes, the 
department utilizes portions of the National 
Fire Protection Code to govern the construc- 
tion and maintenance of fire protective 
systems for high rise buildings, schools, 
hospitals, mobile homes, and other facilities. 

Sewerage Disposal Facilities - administered by 
the Department of Pollution Control under the 
provisions of Chapter 403, Florida Statutes. 
The department has established minimum stan- 
dards and issues permits for the installation 
of both individual disposal systems and 
sanitary sewage works, public or private. 
Applications for permits are filed with the 
local health office in the case of individual 
systems, and directly with the department in 
the case of sanitary sewage systems. 



-49- 



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Code. However, those portions of the codes dealing with 
gas, plumbing, electrical or glass standards are not to be 
included or enforced. Local governments and state agencies 
with building construction regulation responsibilities m.ay 
utilize more stringent requirements than those specified 
by the above codes provided: (1) a justifiable need can 
be demonstrated; and (2) the additional requirements are not 
discriminatory in nature. All this is provided for by the 
recently enacted "Florida Building Codes Act of 1974". 

Many, if not most communities in Florida, had already adopted 
and were currently enforcing building codes in their areas 
of jurisdiction prior to the enactment of this law. Specific 
authority to do so is found in Chapters 125 (Counties), 165 
(Municipalities) and 163 (both, including multi-jurisdictional 
agreements). These laws, however, neither require compliance 
nor prescribe the type of code to be utilized. 

Nearly every political jurisdiction in Alachua County is 
presently enforcing either an unabridged or modified version 
of the Southern Standard Building Code. The only community 
which is not covered is currently considering adopting the 
same code used by Alachua County in order to contract with 
the county for inspection services. (Interviews with local 
officials. May, 1974.) It is anticipated that this municipality 
will make a decision concerning the county inspection services in 
the near future. Since most of the modifications made by the 
individual communities to the Southern Standard Building Code 
pertain only to the administrative portions of the code, that 
is, fee schedules, and other administrative detail, the only 
significant differences between them are the edition being 
enforced (e.g., the 1973 edition as opposed to the 1969 edition) 
and whether or not the most recent amendments to the code have 
been adopted. 



-52- 



Throughout the County, five of the nine jurisdictions having 
a building code utilize the 1973 or latest edition of the 
Southern Standard Building Code along with the 1974 amend- 
ments. The other five communities use the 1969 or older 
editions. As reported by the National Commission on Urban 
Problems, this is not a unique situation. In their 1968 
report to the Congress and the President, they stated that 
"only 28 percent [of those governments utilizing model codes] 
had adopted as much as 90 percent of the recommended changes 
Df the model code groups during the p: 
( Building the American City , p. 257). 



2 
of the model code groups during the previous 3 years'*. 



At this point, a note of explanation is in order. As with 
most "model" codes, proven new materials and techniques are 
generally incorporated into the Southern Standard Building 
Code, along with other necessary changes to remove conflict- 
ing standards within the code itself and with other related 
codes. This is usually done on an annual basis in the form 
of amendments and, after a number of years, a new edition 
of the code is adopted and published by the Southern Build- 
ing Code Congress. Even with this regular updating process, 
charges are still leveled at building codes in general as 
being too conservative with regard to new innovations and 
materials. While not taking a stand one way or the other 
regarding such charges, with the cost of housing and other 
structures rapidly increasing, it is important that local 
governments keep abreast of those changes which are shown 
to be sound by adopting the latest editions and amendments 
to their model codes. 



2 

These figures are based on a survey of over 4,000 units 

of local government having 5,000 or more population. 



-53- 



Electrical Code 

A member of the so-called ''mechanical" codes — plumbing, 
electrical and gas — which together with the building code 
make up what is generally considered the "building codes", 
the electrical code establishes minimum standards pertain- 
ing to the design, installation and materials used for 
providing light, heat or power to buildings and certain 
other facilities. While the authority of local governments 
in Florida to adopt and enforce electrical codes is found in 
several statutes, Chapter 553, Part II, entitled the "Florida 
Electrical Code", specifically requires all incorporated 
and unincorporated jurisdictions to adopt and enforce a 
statewide electrical code. In prescribing minimum electrical 
standards, the state has adopted a series of model and 
state developed codes — seven of which apply to specific 
types of equipment, materials or facilities to act as sup- 
plements to an eighth, more general code which applies to 

3 
all other situations. The general purpose code adopted 

by the state is the National Fire Protection Association's, 
National Electrical Code , 1968 edition. Local governments 
can use codes other than the ones listed in Chapter 553 
provided that such codes are not less stringent in their 
requirements . 

Eight of the ten jurisdictions in Alachua County are present- 
ly enforcing the National Electrical Code — seven of whom 
are using the most recent (1971) edition. The eighth com- 
munity (Archer) enforces the 1968 edition. The remaining 



3 
The codes adopted by this part are listed m Appendix A, 



-54- 



two communities (Vy'aldo and LaCrosse) do not enforce any elec- 
trical code and, therefore, are not in compliance vrith state 
law. (Interview with local officials. May, 1974.) 



Optional Construction Standards 

This third and final category includes those construction 
standards neither enforced by the state, nor the enforce- 
ment of which is required by state law at the local level, 
but are nevertheless often included as part of a community's 
comprehensive code enforcement program.. The remaining 
"mechanical" code types fall within this category, that is, 
plumbing and gas . 



Plumbing Code 

The purpose of the plumbing code is to establish minimum 
standards concerning the design, installation and materials 
used in the construction of plumbing systems. Similar to 
the electrical code, the plumbing code supplements the pro- 
visions of the building code to insure that mechanical 
systems as well as the structure are properly designed and 
constructed . 

The State of Florida currently has a state plum.bing code. 
The code is contained in Chapter lOD-9, Florida Adminis- 
trative Code, and is authorized by Chapter 553, Part I, 
Florida Statutes. While a certain amount of confusion 
exists as to whom or what the provisions of the law and 
the code applies, the County of Alachua is specifically 



-55- 



4 
exempted. Whereas Alachua County is exempted from Chap- 
ter 553, all counties and municipalities are specifically 
authorized to adopt and enforce plumbing codes in their 
areas of jurisdiction by Chapter 125 (County) , Chapter 165 
(Cities) and Chapter 163 (both), Florida Statutes. 

Although not required by state law, eight of the ten juris- 
dictions in the county are enforcing a plumbing code. Only 
the communities of Waldo and LaCrosse are not doing so at 
the present time. All the communities enforcing such a 
code are utilizing the Southern Standard Plumbing Code . 
As with the other codes discussed thus far, however, dif- 
ferent editions and/or amendments are in use. (Interview 
with local officials. May, 1974) . 



Gas Piping - Gas Appliances 

As indicated earlier, the state has adopted and presently 
enforces a code covering liquefied petroleum gases ( L.P . 
Gas Code) . This code, however, does not include those 
gases normally handled in a gaseous state, e.g., natural 
gas, nor those undiluted L.P. gases or gas-air mixtures. 
To bridge this gap, model codes have been developed which 
establish minimum safe standards pertaining to the design 
and installation of gas piping systems and gas appliances 



4 
An investigation into this question did not result in 

a definitive interpretation of this statute. One part of 

Chapter 533 implies that local governments have the option 

of implementing the law, while other parts imply that they 

are required to unless specifically exempted by the law 

itself, as is the case with Alachua County. 



-56- 



Because of the importance of such a code, while not required, 
a number of communities throughout Florida have incorporated 
such a code into their comprehensive code enforcement pro- 
gram. 

The authority of jurisdictions in Florida to adopt and 
enforce gas codes is again found in Chapters 125 (Counties), 
165 (Municipalities) and 163 (both), Florida Statutes. 

In Alachua County, three communities have adopted a gas 
piping and appliance code. Two communities (Archer and 
Micanopy) utilize the Southern Standard Code, while the 
City of Gainesville enforces a similar code developed by the 
National Fire Protection Association. Although Archer and 
Micanopy use the same code, different amendments to the 
Southern Standard are presently in force. Of all the con- 
struction codes discussed thus far, this type of code is 
utilized by the least number of communities in Alachua County 



Systems of Enforcement 

Before closing out this discussion on construction standards, 
a word or two needs to be said about existing code enforce- 
ment procedures in Alachua County. As previously noted, 
a number of smaller communities contract with the County 
for building inspection services. This probably explains 
why Alachua County and communities have a higher rating than 
the national average with regard to maintaining more up-to- 
date and greater uniformity of construction codes. 



-57- 



By having such an arrangement/ benefits accrue to both 
parties. The smaller communities benefit by saving them- 
selves the cost of establishing and maintaining a build- 
ing inspection department which, due to their small size, 
is generally not economical. The County benefits by realiz- 
ing certain economies of scale — since it must service the 
farthest reaches of the unincorporated parts of the county 
anyway. Finally, citizens of all parties benefit not only 
due to the savings in cost due to the reasons stated above, 
but also by having both uniform codes and a more uniform 
system of enforcement. 

This latter situation is addressed by several of the national 
studies on housing and urban problems referenced earlier. 
All of the reports indicated that both the lack of uniform 
codes as well as the lack of uniform enforcement programs are 
equally significant problems. This last problem is caused 
by variations in code interpretation by local building 
officials — reading from the same code. A number of possible 
solutions to this problem are presented in these reports 
ranging from joint training sessions to the establishment of 
a single county-wide enforcement agency. Each solution, 
however, brings with it certain other problems — problems 
which must be analyzed in light of individual local situ- 
ations. For example, whereas a single county-wide enforce- 
ment agency may seem like the ideal solution for an area, 
the disruption caused to existing departments, and the 
problems caused by sim.ple logistics and the large bureaurc- 
racy formed may negate most the benefits received from such 
an action. In that case, perhaps the adoption of uniform 
codes and the establishment of regularly scheduled joint 
training sessions would be the best solution. Certainly, 



-58- 



the ramifications of each of these possible solutions would 
have to be considered in some detail before action is taken 

In Alachua County, four of nine municipalities presently 
have contracts V7ith the county for the provision of build- 
ing inspection services in their areas. These communities 
are: Alachua, Hawthorne, High Springs and Micanopy. A 
fifth community, LaCrosse, is currently considering this 
arrangement . 



Summary of Construction Standards 

In the State of Florida, construction standards can be cate- 
gorized as: (1) state promulgated and enforced; (2) state 
required - locally enforced; and (3) optional local enforce- 
ment. Those standards falling within the first category 
deal generally with specific types of construction and/or 
facilities and, therefore, are limited in application. 

The second category includes two codes, both of which apply 
to nearly all construction. The recently enacted Florida 
Building Codes Act not only requires that all political 
jurisdictions adopt and enforce one of several building 
codes by January 1, 197 5, but also by January 1, 1977, will 
require the adoption and enforcement of a state promulgated 
series of construction standards designed to achieve state- 
wide uniformity in all requirements regulating construction 
activity. At the present time, only one community in Alachua 
County does not enforce a building code within its jurisdic- 
tion. Other communities, however, may have to amend their 
present codes before next January in order to meet the 
specific requirements of this legislation. 



-59- 



The second set of standards included in the "state required - 
locally enforced'" category are those model and state-developed 
codes pertaining to the design and construction of electrical 
and heating systems. The specific code designated by the 
State is the 1968 edition of the National Flectrical Code , 
published by the National Fire Protection Association. 
Two Alachua County communities (Waldo and LaCrosse) are not 
presently in compliance with this lav^. 

The third category includes those construction standards 
often made a part of a community's comprehensive code pro- 
gram, but are not required by Florida state or federal lav;. 
This normally involves two "mechanical" codes, that is, one 
pertaining to general plumbing systems, and another to gas 
piping systems and appliance installation. Whereas eight 
of ten political jursidictions in Alachua County are cur- 
rently enforcing a plumbing code, only three have adopted 
a gas piping/appliance code. Table 1 depicts the codes 
presently enforced within each community. 

In conclusion, essentially four types of problems have been 
uncovered by this investigation. First, a number of communi- 
ties in Alachua County are not enforcing a comprehensive set 
of construction standards, namely building, plumbing, elec- 
trical and gas codes. Tv/o communities, Waldo and LaCrosse, 
by not having adopted the National Flectrical Code, are 
presently at variance with Florida State Law. 

Second, although most communities are utilizing the same 
model codes in terms of building, plumbing and electrical 
standards, several have not adopted the latest editions 
and/or amendments to these codes. These communities not 



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only lose a certain degree of uniformity in their codes, 
they furthermore do not provide themselves t-he benefit of 
those proven innovations in materials and techniques which 
may create substantial savings in costs of construction. 

Third, two different model gas piping/appliance codes are 
being enforced within the county. Fourth and last is the 
nationally recognized problem involving the lack of uniform 
code interpretation and enforcement procedures. 

Although the Florida Building Codes Act will have remedied 
the first three problems by January 1, 1977, that date is 
approximately two and one-half years away. Much time and 
money could be saved if positive action were to be taken 
prior to that time. Not only that, but to solve the fourth 
situation above first requires the elimination of the other 
three problems indicated. 



Maintenance Standards 

As the title suggests, maintenance standards differ from 
construction standards in that their efforts are primarily 
focused on the preservation of buildings once construction 
is completed. Nevertheless, the overall objectives of 
both are the same, that is, the protection of the lives 
and property of citizens. 

Although numerous sets of regulations promulgated at state 
and local levels of government could be included in this 
category (such as health and sanitation codes, safety codes 
and a number of codes already discussed in this chapter) , 
one type of code stands apart from all others in terms of 



-63- 



its comprehensive approach and primary purpose of prevent- 
ing the deterioration of structures. Such codes are refer- 
red to as "housing codes"--housing because they are primarily 
designed for the regulation of living conditions in residen- 
tial structures. 

Programs established for the purpose of providing for health 
and safety in housing in this country began in the 19th 
century. These programs were in response to identifying the 
fact that unsanitary housing was a major cause of illness 
and a breeding place of disease. The modern version of 
the housing code, however, did not come into being until 
the 1940's--with the first effort taking place in Baltimore, 
Maryland. While this first effort was confined mainly to 
a statement of intent, housing codes have developed over 
the years to where most now establish fairly detailed health 
and safety requirements covering three main areas of the 
structure: (1) the facilities supplied in a structure, that 
is, toilets, baths, sinks, etc.; (2) structural and sanitary 
maintenance, e.g., broken pipes, cracked walls, leaky roofs, 
etc.; and (3) usability and amenity of interior space, that 
is, light and ventilation, room sizes, occupancy ratios and 
so on. (National Commission on Urban Problems, Building the 
American City , 1968, pp. 273-307). 

As the mechanics of housing codes evolved, so did their 
role and function in the community. Spurred by passage of 
the major housing acts beginning in 1949, housing codes 
began to be increasingly used by communities both as "pre- 
ventive maintenance" mechanisms and as enforcing instruments 
for the rehabilitation of substandard housing. However, as 
with other codes discussed in this report, both benefits 
and costs result with application. While this question has 



-64- 



been resolved in terms of most other codes, the debate over 
housing codes is still going on--not so much in terms of 
need, rather in terms of implementation. 

As pointed out in a recent article printed in the Journal 
of the American Institute of Planners , a substantial amount 
of literature has been published over the past decade concern- 
ing housing codes and their enforcement. ("Municipal Housing 
Code Enforcement and Low-Income Tenants", Vol. 40, March, 
1974, pp. 60-104). Several of the studies have been major 
research efforts designed in part to measure the overall 
effectiveness and impact of housing codes in communities. 
While recommendations for improving the situation vary, the 
concensus of opinion is that housing codes have not been 
an effective instrument in improving the quality and quan- 
tity of the nation's housing supply. 

A number of reasons are cited by the studies beginning with 
the fact that most communities, especially small cities and 
rural areas, have not adopted housing codes. In the State 
of Florida, for example, a recent survey completed by the 
Department of Community Affairs revealed that only 12 of 
67 counties and 127 of 405 cities had adopted housing codes. 
( Codes and Standards in Florida , 1974). 

A second important reason cited is that most communities 
with housing codes enforce them on a "complaint only" basis. 
While this provides a measure of protection to renters--pro- 
fided they can afford a subsequent increase in rent--it does 
not allow the code to function as a preventive maintenance 
mechanism. To do so requires a systematic code enforcement 
program involving regular inspection sweeps of the entire 
community with, perhaps, special emphasis given those areas 



-65- 



beginning to show signs of deterioration. As experience has 
shown, however, this alone cannot solve the problem. The 
major impediment to a successful program develops with low- 
income owners and renters who cannot afford the costs of 
necessary improvements--be it in the form of direct costs 
of repair or higher costs of rent. The problem is further 
compounded if the structure is dilapidated and is subse- 
quently condemned. Then the owner or renter is faced with 
the probability of having to relocate in higher cost housing. 
Based on these problems, most of the reports conclude that 
for housing codes to be truly effective, they must not only 
be accompanied by systematic code compliance programs, but 
also be accompanied by programs involving low-interest loans 
or grants, and rent subsidies or control. 

It is this last requirement for effective housing code 
enforcement that has been most affected by the recent change 
in federal involvement in state and local housing problems . 
Although limited for the most part to federally designated 
"concentrated code enforcement" and "urban renewal" areas — a 
designation generally reserved for slum and other areas 
already highly deteriorated — a number of low-interest loan 
and grant programs have been sponsored in previous years 
by the federal government. As indicated in the introductory 
chapter, however, the present Administration is proposing 
a complete new approach regarding federal aid to state and 
local governments. This "revenue sharing" approach has not 
yet been fully implemented — nor is it certain that the spe- 
cial program proposed to replace the former community develop- 

5 
ment programs will ever pass the Congress. In the meantime. 



This refers to the "Better Communities Act" discussed in 



Chapter Three of this report. 



-66- 



only those incomplete projects initiated in previous years 
are continuing to receive federal aid. Outside of these 
areas, however, the burden rests with state and local govern- 
ments who, for the most part, do not have the necessary 
resources to adequately handle the problem. 

In the State of Florida, the authority of local governments 
to adopt and enforce housing codes is provided by Chapters 125, 
165/166 and other special acts relating to specific juris- 
dictions . 

In Alachua County, only two commiunities have adopted housing 
codes. They are the City of Gainesville and the Town of 
Micanopy. Micanopy has adopted the 1969 edition of the 
Southern Standard Housing Code, whereas the City of Gaines- 
ville operates under a self-developed code initially adopted 
in 1964. This code is considered by the federal government 
to be equivalent to the Southern Standard code. (Interviews 
with local officials. May, 1974). 

Of the two communities, however, only Gainesville has estab- 
lished and is currently enforcing a systematic housing code 
compliance program. This program was begun in 1966 and has 
been funded entirely by the city since that time. While the 
program has achieved notable successes in both the prevention 
of deterioration and the rehabilitation of substandard housing 
units, local officials are hampered in their efforts by the 
same type of problems enumerated above with respect to the 
situation involving low-income owners and renters. (Inter- 
view with John Howze, Director of Housing Division, City of 
Gainesville, July, 1974), 



-67- 



The task of maintaining and upgrading the quality of housing 
is a continuous process. As reported in a recently completed 
study by the Department of Community Development, City of 
Gainesville, the percentage of substandard housing units 
in the city dropped from 15.9 percent in 1965 to 5.3 percent 
in 19 72--a very admirable record and one which shows what 
housing code enforcement programs can do even without direct 
federal aid. Nevertheless, there is the remaining 5.3 per- 
cent considered substandard, plus another 11.1 percent of 
housing considered standard, but needing minor repairs 
which requires continued attention. 

Outside the City of Gainesville, however, the situation is 
much worse. Based on a survey completed by this agency in 
1971-72, 32.2 percent of all housing units located in the 
other incorporated areas in the county were estimated to 
be dilapidated and another 22.5 percent were classified 
as "deteriorating "--leaving less than 50 percent considered 
as "sound". Due apparently in part to the large influx of 
new housing, the percentage of substandard housing in the 
unincorporated areas of the county was found to be much 
lower. (N.C.F .R.P.C. , Housing Conditions , 1972). 



Summary of Maintenance Standards 

Maintenance standards, as defined in this report, are essen- 
tially preventive maintenance mechanisms. Housing codes 
are the only widely-used standards fitting this definition-- 
and only really then if they are accompanied by a systematic 
code compliance program. To be completely effective at 
their task, however, housing code enforcement programs need 
help in the form of low-interest loan, grant and rent sub- 
sidy programs for low-income owners and renters. 



-68- 



In Alachua County, two of the jurisdictions have adopted 
housing codes — one model, the other self -developed . Only the 
City of Gainesville has also established a systematic housing 
code compliance program. 

The overall quality of housing in the county varies from. 
one jurisdiction to another, with the smaller incorporated 
areas having the highest percentages of substandard housing. 
Due to the inability of the private sector to meet the need 
for low-cost housing — and the unwillingness of the present 
federal administration to continue subsidized housing pro- 
grams, the nation's existing housing supply must be preserved, 
repaired and rehabilitated to the greatest extent possible. 

As evidenced by the City of Gainesville, a properly established 
and operated housing code and systematic code enforcement pro- 
gram can substantially improve the quality of an area's housing 
supply. 



CODES AND CODE ENFORCEMENT: 
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 

The preceding survey of housing-related codes, their basis 
in Florida law, and their present status of enforcement in 
Alachua County and municipalities has determined the following 

1. Development Controls - Subdivision Regulations: 

(a) that four of the ten political jurisdictions of 
Alachua County have adopted subdivision regulations; 
and 

(b) that both major and minor differences exist in their 
respective requirements. 



-69- 



2. Development Controls - Zoning: 

(a) that six of the ten jurisdictions have adopted zoning 
ordinances; and 

(b) these ordinances vary in their respective designations 
and requirements . 

3. That the State of Florida has adopted standards for the 
purpose of regulating the following types of construction 
and development activities and materials: 

(a) hotel and restaurant construction; 

(b) elevator construction; 

(c) school building construction; 

(d) fire safety; 

(e) sewerage disposal facilities; 

(f) water supply system; 

(g) mobile home construction; 
(h) factory-built housing; 

(i) liquefied petroleum gas facilities; 
(j) glass materials. 

4. Building Code: 

(a) that the State of Florida will require all counties 
and municipalities to adopt and enforce one of several 
model building codes by January 1, 1975; and 

(b) that nine of the ten jurisdictions of Alachua County 
presently enforce a building code; and 

(c) that all nine utilize the Southern Standard Building 
Code ; however, not all of them use the same edition 
and/or amendments . 

5. Electrical Code: 

(a) that the State of Florida presently requires all 
counties and municipalities to adopt and enforce 
the National Electrical Code within their areas of 
jurisdictions; and 



-70- 



(b) that two of the ten jurisdictions of Alachua County are 
not currently enforcing this code, and therefore, are 
in violation of Florida law, and 

(c) that the other eight jurisdictions enforcing this code 
utilize different editions. 

Plumbing Code: 

(a) that the State of Florida has established a plumbing 
code, but it is not required to be enforced within 
Alachua County; and 

(b) that eight of the ten jurisdictions of Alachua County 
are currently enforcing a plumbing code anyway; and 

(c) that all eight utilize the Southern Standard Plumbing 
Code ; however, different editions/amendments are en- 
forced. 

Gas Code : 

(a) that three of the ten jurisdictions of Alachua County 
are enforcing a gas piping/gas appliance code; and 

(b) that two of the three utilize the gas code developed 
by the Southern Building Code Congress, but have 
adopted different amendments; whereas, the third 
jurisdiction uses the code developed by the National 
Fire Protection Association. 

Code Enforcement: 

(a) that four of the nine municipalities of Alachua County 
presently contract with the county for construction code 
inspection services. 

(b) therefore, a total of five jurisdictions in Alachua 
County have uniform codes and code enforcement. 

Housing Code: 

(a) that two of the ten jurisdictions of Alachua County 
have adopted a housing code; and 

(b) that only one of the two has established a systematic 
code compliance program for implementing the code. 



•71- 



Based on the above findings and recognizing that: 1) housing 
costs are rising at an increasingly rapid rate; 2) the need 
for maintaining and upgrading the existing housing stock is, 
therefore, even greater; and 3) housing-related codes and 
their enforcement can affect both the quality and quantity 
of an area's housing supply, it is recommended that a comjnittee, 
having at least one representative from each of the ten juris- 
dictions of Alachua County, be established to consider joint 
action on the following items: 

1. the elimination of all unnecessary differences in 
subdivision regulation requirements, and the develop- 
ment of subdivision regulations for those communities 
not presently having any. 

2. the establishment of similar zone classifications and 
zone requirements for all undeveloped border areas where 
to do so will not mis-represent either community's land 
use plan; and the development of zoning ordinances for 
those communities not presently having any. 

3. the establishment of uniform construction codes (build- 
ing, plumbing, electrical and gas) throughout Alachua 
County; and establishing a method for adopting new 
editions and amendments in order to benefit from tech- 
nological advances made in the construction field. 

4. The establishment of a uniform system of code enforce- 
ment throughout Alachua County. At least two alter- 
natives exist: a single county-wide enforcement agency; 
and joint training sessions for all inspectors operating 
within the county. 

5. The adoption of housing codes and the establishment of 
systematic code compliance programs in each of the 
communities . 



-72- 



APPENDIX A 

STATE OF FLORIDA 

MINIMUM ELECTRICAL STANDARDS 



Pursuant to Chapter 553, Part II, Florida Statutes, the 
following standards are adopted for the purpose of estab- 
lishing minimum electrical standards for the state: 

(1) The National Electrical Code, NFPA No. 70-1968. 

(2) Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., "Standard for 
Electrical Lighting Fixtures, and Portable Lamps,' UL 153-1966 
and UL 57-1967. 

(3) Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., "Standard for 
Electric Signs," UL 48-1966. 

(4) The regulations of the division of hotels and res- 
taurants of the department of business regulation, applicable 
to emergency lighting, Florida Statute Section Number 509.211 
(6) (g) and 509.211 (7) . 

(5) NFPA No. 56-1968, Article 244, "Arrangements of 
Circuits . " 

(6) Chapter 10 D-29 of the rules and regulations of the 
division of health of the department of health and rehabili- 
tative services, entitled "Nursing Homes and Related Facilities 
Licensure . " 

(7) The minimum standards for grounding of portable 
electric equipment, chapter 8AS-2 as recomjuended by the 
industrial safety section, bureau of workmen's compensation, 
division of labor and employment opportunities, department 
of commerce . 

(8) "Essential Electrical System for Hospitals," NFPA 
76-1967. 



-73- 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



Bureau of Codes and Standards and Bureau of Planning and 
Research, Department of Community Affairs, State of 
Florida. Codes and Standards for Florida. Tallahassee, 
Florida: Department of Community Affairs, 1974. 

Department of Community Development, City of Gainesville. 
Qualitative Analysis of Housing Conditions . 1973. 

Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD News- 
letter . Vol. 5, No. 16 (April, 1974). 

Gainesville Sun . "Efforts to Stimulate Housing Aren't 
Succeeding" , July 21, 1974. 

Goodman, William I. and Freund, Eric C, eds. Principles 
and Practice of Urban Planning . 4th ed . Washington, 
D.C.: International City Managers' Association, 1968. 

Hartman, Chester W. ; Kessler, Robert P.; and LeGates, 
Richard T. "Municipal Housing Code Enforcement and 
Low-Income Tenants", Journal of the American Institute 
of Planners , XL (March, 1974), 90-104. 

National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. 
"Section 23 - Public Housing Leasing Program", Journal 
of Housing , No. 2 (February, 1974), 73-74. 

North Central Florida Regional Planning Council. Initial 
Housing Element . Gainesville, Florida. 1971. 

North Central Florida Regional Planning Council. Housing 
Conditions . Gainesville, Florida. 1972. 

North Central Florida Regional Planning Council. Housing , 
1973 . Gainesville, Florida. 1973. 

Report of Reubin Askew, Governor of the State of Florida to 
the Florida Legislature. The First Annual Report on 
State Housing Goals . 1973. 

Report of Reubin Askew, Governor of the State of Florida to 
the Florida Legislature. Housing in Florida, 1974. 



-75- 



Report of the National Commission on Urban Problems to the 
Congress and to the President of the United States, 
Paul H. Douglas, Chairman, Building The American City . 
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1968. 

Report of the President's Committee on Urban Housing, Edgar 
F. Kaiser, Chairman. A Decent Home . Washington, D.C.: 
Government Printing Office, 1968. 

Report prepared by The Office of the Governor, The Governor's 
Task Force on Housing and Community Development, and the 
State of Florida Department of Community Affairs. Housing 
in Florida. 5 Vols. Tallahassee: Department of Community 
Affairs, 1972. 



-76- 



1 




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